Se­niors fight post-hur­ri­cane heat

Saturday Star - - NEWS -

HOL­LY­WOOD, Florida: El­derly peo­ple were ush­ered out of sti­fling as­sisted-liv­ing cen­tres while car­ers fought a lack of air-con­di­tion­ing with Pop­si­cles and cool com­presses af­ter eight peo­ple died at a nurs­ing home in the post-hur­ri­cane heat.

Dozens of the state’s se­nior cen­tres still lacked elec­tric­ity in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Ir ma, and sev­eral fa­cil­i­ties were forced to evac­u­ate.

Fifty-seven res­i­dents were moved from a Fort Laud­erdale as­sisted-liv­ing fa­cil­ity with­out power to two nearby homes where power had been re­stored.

“FPL has got to have a bet­ter plan for power,” one said, re­fer­ring to the state’s lar- gest util­ity, Florida Power & Light. “We’re sup­posed to be on a pri­or­ity list, and it doesn’t come and it doesn’t come, and frankly it’s very scary.”

Stepped-up safety checks were con­ducted around the state af­ter eight deaths at the Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre at Hol­ly­wood Hills.

The el­derly can be more sus­cep­ti­ble to heat be­cause their bod­ies do not ad­just to tem­per­a­tures as well as younger peo­ple.

They are also more likely to take med­i­ca­tion that af­fects body tem­per­a­ture.

Statewide, 64 nurs­ing homes were still wait­ing on Thurs­day for full power, ac­cord­ing to the Florida Health Care As­soci- ation. The sep­a­rate Florida As­sisted Liv­ing As­so­ci­a­tion said many of its South Florida mem­bers lacked elec­tric­ity.

On Wed­nes­day near Or­lando, fire­fight­ers helped re­lo­cate 122 peo­ple from two as­sisted-liv­ing cen­tres that had been with­out power since the storm.

At the 15 000-res­i­dent Cen­tury Vil­lage re­tire­ment com­mu­nity in Pem­broke Pines, where there were also wide­spread out­ages, res­cue work­ers went door to door to check on res­i­dents and bring ice, wa­ter and meals.

To the east, the Greater Miami Jewish Fed­er­a­tion has been check­ing on el­derly res­i­dents in their homes. – AP

PIC­TURE: AP

Kudy Ann Bell at a spe­cial needs shel­ter at Florida In­ter­na­tional Univer­sity in Miami. About 30 peo­ple, in­clud­ing staff with the Florida Keys Out­reach Coali­tion for the Home­less from Key West, were shel­tered un­der­neath a park­ing garage on cam­pus.

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